British soul diva Beverley Knight—one of that country's most successful R&B performers—forcefully comes out against homophobia and gay bashing lyrics. In a new interview at The Voice, the three-time Mobo Award-winning singer/songwriter says that being a reggae fan does not require homophobia. "I enjoy reggae music. ... But what I didn't like was seeing talented artists using their platform to gay-bash. Firstly, it doesn’t make business sense for an artist to do that kind of thing, knowing that British society aims to encourage tolerance. And also, I think black people need to remember that whenever they gay-bash, they’re bashing at least ten per cent of their own community."
In 2004, Knight first spoke out against homophobia after friend Tyrone Jameson, the television personality, died of AIDS. "My friend who died hated the fact that being a black, gay man had to be such a burden for him. So it really breaks my heart to hear talented reggae artists falling into this trap of gay-bashing."
Pink News reports the interview with some context, mainly quotes from veteran UK gay activist Peter Tatchell. "Solidarity from black community figures is tremendously important and valued. The black and gay communities should stand shoulder to shoulder against racism and homophobia." Great quote, but also interviewing a gay black voice would have provided much more authority—especially when that country is trying to raise awareness of its gay black leaders.
Lastly, a memo to the Pink News crew: It's "Beverley" not "Beverly." Tsk, tsk.
Piece of My Heart (Voice)
Beverly Knight Against Homophobia (Pink News)
Previously:Does Your Mother Know? (Rod 2.0) Black Gay British Leaders (Rod 2.0) Hip Hop and Homosexuality (Keith Boykin) Is Hip-Hop Homophobic? (Vibe) Anti-Gay Acts Dropped from Awards (Rod 2.0) The Iceman Cometh (Rod 2.0) Brit Campaign Against Black Homophobia (Rod 2.0) Kanye on Gay Bashing (Rod2.0) My Jamaican Guy (Rod 2.0)